Charlie’s first diary entry – like those of many other people – is dated 1 January, in his case 1922.
In it you will see the early makings of someone who was to become a fine author. His enthusiam for cycling is clear from the start and he sets out a pretty clear vision of how he intends to develop this pastime that we are – through the pages of this site – going to come to know quite intimately as his story unfolds.
Clearly he was already an established cyclist – having owned a cycle for 8 years prior to his 17th birthday – although he seems only to have taken it up seriously in the previous year in which he says he covered 1760 miles. He says he has already taken many holidays on a bicycle, though it is also clear that in these cases it was merely for transport to get there and back. He also expresses a love of the sea and boating and it will be interesting to see whether he returns to this in future years.
He also says that he did take a couple of rides out with Farnworth Wheelers during 1921, but that seemed to be enough to convince him that they were too slow so he is clearly planning to break out. The other comment that we should note is how Charlie already seems to have developed a strong aversion to “petrolised demons“.
Finally, this page also includes the earliest known picture of Charlie. This picture was actually taken in 1925 – some 3.5 years later than these initial jottings, by which time he would have been approaching his 21st birthday.